2009 Study Strategy for L3 Failures

hey guys - sorry to hear of your news… especially BB as I was really rooting for you. I know you will make it next year.

One of the main instructors at Windsor made us rewrite many of the slides due to errors. It was very disappointing and detracted from the learning experience. You would think that they would have had the slides nailed down pat. I’m looking for some better written notes to supplement my CFAI readings. IMO so much of the level 3 exam is subjective in nature, with MPS set by the board of governors. Level 3 should be more objective, testing your knowledge, rather the crap shoot it has become. Look back on past exams and exam questions from the 1990’s and you’ll see what I mean.

Thanks Edge. Will definitely make a good effort again.

  1. Mrs. Bambi was right to suggest to only focus on EOC questions, text examples & Ethics during the last 2-3 weeks before the exam. 2. I have already gone through the text books (was in failed band 9), so may go through Schweser for bad CFAI readings like Merton’s article on pensions or performance attribution. I hate it when the authors, instead of showing the calculations, try to explain them. 3. More attention to CFAI essay exams, though I was able to finish the AM session w/o rushing. What I wrote probably was another matter. 4. Finish the course 5-6 weeks before the exam date to only solve Q for the last month. All the best to everyone, and keep that motivation up. For me, I am going to start in Dec with the topics where I bombed. BTW, the registration fee is $390 for the returning candidates (how i hate that designation).

what is EOC questions if i may ask? Thanks

happyking02 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > what is EOC questions if i may ask? Thanks End-of-Chapter aka Qs at the end of the text readings.

> End-of-Chapter aka Qs at the end of the text > readings. yeah, even though i just passed level 2, that’s definitely what i feel like i needed to do to do better.

Aloha, I failed in 2007 and was a 2008 repeat. Looking back, the difference between the previous 2 levels and when I failed L3 (and I think somebody mentioned it well here) was that L3 you really have to have a deep working knowledge of the subjects. You have to be able to recall and apply info out of thin air, whereas in multiple choice you can somewhat gauge what the response should be by looking at the answers. Again, my $0.02 only. But here’s what I did for what its worth… 1) 98% Schweser - reading a chapter, all end of chapter book problems as well as all Schweser Pro Q Bank questions (2,500 questions in all). Started in Dec 07 and finished with 6-7 wks left. 2) took ALL avail CFA mock/sample exams, including past years’ essays. I was scoring anywhere from mid 70s on the samples to around 65% on the mock. In general, it kept me honest and not too beaten yet not too cocky and I scored around there on the exam. 3) Took the Boston Society exam (that was made avail here in Hawaii) and smashed it so strongly I thought it was poorly constructed because I know I’m not that good. I’ve heard good things about the Bos exam however, such as that it was more difficult than the real exam. 4) Ran through some Schweser vids during the last 2 weeks, covering about 75% of the study sessions. There were some interesting morsels of info in the videos not in the Schweser notes that helped during the test. It helped to get a different take, other than reading pure text, particularly on difficult subjects. 5) Took 3 2008 Schweser exams. In my opinion, these were a LOT harder than anything else and I felt awful after them. I’d do well on a CFA mock, then take a Schweser and get a 55%. They were SO difficult, that I probably wouldn’t order all 9 of them (Online package, Vol 1, and Vol 2 each have 3) but direct energy and $$ towards old CFA material instead. Other tid bits: a) I thought Schweser was very good in helping nail down 90% of the material. However, the CFA sample exams threw some curves at me that were only in the CFA text books. Subjects like hedging, currency translation, returns on international assets I had to refer to CFAI books and it wasn’t until a day before the exam that I had even a general grasp of it. I was hoping I wouldn’t see anything too different than the sample exams. If I had to do it again, I would have finished reading earlier and saved more time to review the CFA texts as clarification. b) Schw Secret Sauce is ok for a big picture review. I used it more in the first 2 levels than L3. Their Cheat Sheet was not that important to me since we have fewer formulas than the other two levels. c) You HAVE to practice essay responses. Not so much as in time yourself, altho that probably cant hurt, but be able to shoot the answer out in a few bullets. Be able to answer “what is this stupid question asking” and then “what are the three/four bullet points I need to nail to get full credit.” That am session will be much easier if you do this a few times. I thought old CFA essay questions were great in this regard. d) Schweser Q Bank is good for testing basic concepts in a straightforward manner. To me, its marketed better than it really is. It’s completely different answering a complex item set or essay however, especially when curves are thrown. e) I tried the end of chapter questions in the CFAI material and got crushed. Didnt even know how to answer some of the open ended ones. Schweser however said they were not indicative of the exam questions since they were so open ended and therefore recommended only doing questions in the CFAI material that came from actual previous exams. Looking back I think this is a good strategy. You get some sense of how questions were phrased while preserving confidence and efficiency. I didnt want to waste my time trying to figure out some of the more vague questions. If you have other questions, you can email me offline at mrkellyfong@gmail.com. Good luck fellas!

Hey, will you re-purchase the Schweser notes for 2009 as the material wont change that much? Guess have to buy the CFA TEXT books though, it comes with the registration, rit?

Thanks exLEHhawaiiCFA for sharing. I haven’t decided if I wanna do this again for the 4th time (lol), because I am not sure if I could do any better by starting early or using different method. Now I think back, many AM exam questions weren’t hard, but I just wasn’t able to give them the bullet points to get full credits. I am going to spend the next 24 hours to think of a strategy then re register or just simply quit…

I say keep going since you’re there already, having made it to a point few have. But don’t think about it for a few weeks…go party or buy something for your car (used to have a Lorinser C43)…and then revisit in Dec. Your energy and strategy will become clearer by the day but in my experience, its not something you can force especially when theres still CFA emotions flowing thru your blood.

Thanks, and would love to see a pic of your C43… lol. I am trying to form a local study group (HK) with retakers and newcomers and see if this helps. While we study on our own, we meet to ask questions on the difficult topics, especially something that is not well explained by Schweser. I am not sure if I should start using CFAI text for 2009, as I saw a few posts from those who relied on it and still failed miserably. I guess I will do all the EOC and Q bank questions after each SS. I would also like to try the Schweser online course instead of Video series and see if it makes a difference.

My passing strategy was: - Read every Schweser section twice (1st pass: Jan-Mar, 2nd pass Apr-1st wk May) and did every single Schweser question - Last 4-5 weeks before exam, I did 5 full Schweser practice exams and took up every single mistake I had, I did every single AM section from CFA exams back to 2000, I did every single mock and practice exam CFA offered, and I went to the CFA books a fair bit in the last couple of weeks for concepts I was struggling on - the biggest key here is to do all these exams, and the time doing the exams is almost wasted as the real value is reviewing your mistakes and spending hours learning your holes. Only doing the exams can find your real holes - I also focused in the last few days on GIPS, Ethics and IPS/Institutional as you know you are guaranteed to see these on the exam so why not make it easy on yourself

… also I also made sure I did every single end of chapter multiple choice question in the CFAI curriculum that came from previous CFA exams

A couple observations from my retake experience: * From my first attempt I saw the areas that I really needed to work on, (for me essay related questions from PWM and InstInvMgmt) as well as the high point areas, and started on those earlier * I started somewhat early (Dec), but not in a heavy way. Actually took most of a month off in Jan or Feb, and really kicked it in to have about 200 hours in as of the end of Windsor * Finished with about 270 hours total * In the areas I knew I should do well in (FI, RM, Deriv) I made sure I knew it ALL via practice exams (Schweser, CFAI online) and book problems. * I found that my scoring on everything (I kept a log of how I scored) was about what my 40/60/80 average was on the test (~65%). To be honest, I don’t think this changed much over the last three weeks of studying. * For me, generally, I always tried to be honest about what I was good/bad at (and made sure scoring backed this up) and a fair amount of reps on what I culled as the imported material. What did NOT work for me the last year was cramming a lot of different topics in the last month via review. * I don’t think I learned a ton of new material year over year, but I did learn to be better at taking the test (particularly essays). Windsor helped with this. Since the curriculum did not change much (from what people are posting), I would suggest getting a hold of the Schweser videos from 2008 and watch them now in the areas you did poorest on, just to start the base of material. You should not memorize them, but start to hear the material again. For me, it was repetition, repetition, repetition at a slow pace in the beginning on the material I thought was strategically important, and tweaking that knowledge in that last part of prep to increase the odds of passing (strategy followed by tactics). Good luck, and keep at it.

I think Schweser and CFAI text questions … is what i did … The actual exam questions dont go beyond the questions in CFAI text

IH8FSA Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > L3Beatit: > > “the CFAI texts had too much “noise” which made it > hard to focus on the LOS’s” > > How true is that. I spent most of my time > studying stuff that seemed important, but was not > even going to be tested. > > > TrojanHater08: > > " but the 2009 curriculum posted on the CFAI > website looks awfully similar to 2008’s" > > yes, they basically added 1 los and removed one. > the rest of the los’s are moved around. i.e los 47 > last year is now los 16 etc… that is why we are > in better shape. > > > > Any of you guys from Toronto>? I’m from T.O …

does it make sense to go and attend classes? if so which ones are good? Stalla/schweser/nyssa?

I never looked at the CFA essays online. I printed them out, but never got a chance to look at them, instead focusing on the Schweser practice exams (I think I did 5 out of the 6 tests. This year I’ll make sure that I get the CFAI essays and have them down cold before I walk in. That is…unless my retab comes back positively…haha :slight_smile:

Hey, another failure here… the worst part is that i am in the top 10% of failures…I’d rather fail by the large margin. Anybody wants to study together in Toronto? If yes, send me an e-mail ne_sashka@yahoo.ca